Saqib, H.S.A., Chen, J., Chen, W., Pozsgai, G., Akutse, K.S., Ashraf, M.F., You, M. & Gurr, G.M. (2020) Local management and landscape structure determine the assemblage patterns of spiders in vegetable fields.Scientific Reports, 10, 15130. DOI:10.1038/s41598-020-71888-w (IF2020 4,379; Q1 Multidisciplinary Sciences)
Both field- and landscape-scale factors can influence the predator communities of agricultural pests, but the relative importance and interactions between these scales are poorly understood. Focusing on spiders, an important taxon for providing biological control, we tested the influence of field- and landscape-scale factors on structuring the spider communities in a highly dynamic brassica agroecosystem. We found that local factors (pesticide-use and crop type) and forested landscape significantly influenced the abundance and species richness of spiders, whilst grassland patches significantly affected the spider species richness. Correlation results demonstrated that assemblage patterns of most spider families positively responded to the interplay between local factors and forest patches in the landscape. The spiders abundance was greatest in cauliflower crops surrounded with forest and grassland patches in landscape. Similarly, ordination analyses revealed that organic fields of cauliflower in forested landscapes had a strong positive association with the abundance and species richness of spiders. In contrast, insecticide and synthetic fertilizer-treated fields of Chinese cabbage in landscapes with little non-crop habitat reduced the abundance and species richness of spiders. Our results highlight the extent of interaction between local- and landscape-scale factors, help explain recently reported inconsistent effects of landscape factors on conservation biological control.